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Coast Guard adopts newest national security cutter Calhoun, named for the service’s first chief petty officer

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Calhoun (WMSL 759) boards the ship following the commissioning ceremony in North Charleston, SC, Saturday, April 20, 2024. The Calhoun is named after the Coast Guard's first chief petty officer, Charles Calhoun.

The crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Calhoun (WMSL 759) boards the ship following the commissioning ceremony in North Charleston, SC, Saturday, April 20, 2024. The Calhoun is named after the Coast Guard’s first chief petty officer, Charles Calhoun. (Nick Ameen/US Coast Guard)

The U.S. Coast Guard on Saturday commissioned its newest cutter, the USCGC Calhoun (WMSL 759), at Coast Guard Base Charleston, S.C.

The Legend-class national security cutter is named after the Coast Guard’s first chief petty officer, Charles L. Calhoun.

Coast Guard Commander Adm. Linda Fagan presided over the ceremony.

Calhoun served in the United States Navy during World War II before enlisting in the Coast Guard in 1946. His Coast Guard career featured more than 170 months of service at sea, including service in Vietnam. Calhoun served as chief noncommissioned officer from 1969 to 1973 and advised the commander on matters affecting the troops. The dedication date, April 20, was in honor of Calhoun’s birthday.

Coast Guard Commander Adm. Linda Fagan and Capt. Timothy Sommella, commander of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Calhoun (WMSL 759), greet each other during the cutter's commissioning ceremony, Saturday, April 20, 2024, in North Charleston, S.C.

Coast Guard Commander Adm. Linda Fagan and Capt. Timothy Sommella, commander of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Calhoun (WMSL 759), greet each other during the cutter’s commissioning ceremony, Saturday, April 20, 2024, in North Charleston, SC (Brandon Hillard / U.S. Coast Guard)

“I am honored to share the job title, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard, with Charles Calhoun,” said Heath Jones, 14th Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard. “His efforts as a voice for the workforce created significant, lasting cultural change within the Coast Guard. His commitment to people, the most precious resource we have, and the challenges he faced paved the way for the talent transformation work we do today.”

The 130-meter Legend-class national security cutters are equipped with state-of-the-art command and control equipment, the ability to launch and accommodate multiple small boats and aircraft and an advanced engineering plant capable of reaching speeds of approximately 50 km/h. , making them the most versatile cutters in the Coast Guard fleet. The cutter’s primary missions include anti-drug operations, migrant interdiction, living marine resources, and defense preparedness.

Calhoun is the 10th Legend-Class national security cutter and will be homeported in North Charleston alongside Coast Guard Cutters Hamilton (WMSL 753), James (WMSL 754) and Stone (WMSL 758).

USCGC Calhoun departed the shipbuilding division of Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, Miss., on November 19, 2023.  The National Security Cutter is the 10th Legend-class cutter delivered to the Coast Guard.

USCGC Calhoun departed the shipbuilding division of Huntington Ingalls Industries in Pascagoula, Miss., on November 19, 2023. The National Security Cutter is the 10th Legend-class cutter delivered to the Coast Guard. (Huntington Ingalls Industries)